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India's Energy Outlook - Balancing Sustainable Development and Managing Carbon Footprint

Sonali Sharma - Panjab University, Chandigarh

Energy Outlook India - 2021

“India’s energy security rests on four columns of ‘Availability’, ‘Accessibility’, ‘Affordability’, and ‘Acceptability'. All these 4A’s are entwined to provide usable energy to divergent sections of society in a more socially and economically carbon-constrained environment.”

With an annual population growth rate of 1.23%, India currently has a population of 1.4 billion people. India’s mixed economy is one of the fastest developing economies in the world. Since the beginning of the 21st century, the yearly average GDP growth rate has been 6%-7%. For 2021-2022, India’s GDP growth rate has been predicted to be in the range of 7.5-12.5%.

In particular, energy security maintains the dimensions of both economic and human development. The country’s burgeoning population and economic growth have unfolded the veil of its energy demands. India is the 5th largest end-user of energy in the world. While the world consumes around 12,000 mtoe of energy resources, India consumes 524.4 mtoe.

For its energy production, India relies on both renewable and non-renewable energy sources. As on 28/02/2021, total installed capacity is 53.0% coal, 6.6% gas, 0.1% diesel, and 1.8% nuclear energy. In the year 2017, the country occupied positions 2nd, 3rd, and 4th in matters of LPG, oil and natural gas, and coal consumption. In 2018, primary energy consumption from coal, crude oil, and natural gas was 56% (highest), 30%, and 6% respectively, while that from renewable power was 4%.

As per the estimates of the National Electric Grid, India as of 31 March 2021 has an installed capacity of 382.15 GW, making it the 3rd considerable electricity generator in the world. The

share of renewable energy sources for power production remains solar power (36,910.53 MW), wind power (38,433.55 MW), biomass (10,145.92 MW), small hydropower (4,740.47 MW), and waste to energy (168.64 MW). Carbon-neutral fuel called biomass is renewable and supports around 70% of India’s energy needs.